Well, I predicted this penultimate episode of Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino to be an action-packed one, and although I wasn't entirely wrong, I can't really say that I was right either.
With Franco and Franca preparing to blow up the experimental bridge, and the Social Welfare Agency all set up and ready to stop them, it wasn't going to take long for the two to clash, and so it came to pass, with Henrietta and Pinocchio trading blows before all three terrorists manage to escape by boat, although not before Henrietta manages to lodge a bullet in Franco's shoulder.
Of course, with all of this going on their plan to blow up the bridge fails (although they do manage to deal it some damage), and thus Cristiano's future looks bleak. Franco and Franca have to break the news to Pinnochio regarding his uncle, which of course sees him set off to try to help and protect him. This sees him walk straight into a trap, and sets him up for a rematch against a rather vengeful Triela in the series final episode.
While Gunslinger Girl as an entirety has often done better when it's stayed away from pure, honest action, this episode actually felt rather empty aside from the two slices of action that acted as bread to the episode's sandwich - It didn't cover anything we hadn't seen before, and felt rather like it was retreading old ground despite the long gap since I first started watching this series. Still, it remains a passable attempt at story progression, and I can't pretend that I don't want to see how Triela fares when facing off against Pinnochio once again in Il Teatrino's grand finale.